Dental dystrophy: Dental hypoplasia

A dental abnormality resulting in less enamel than normal, but with normal structure. The defect may affect a small area and not be aesthetically or functionally disturbing, or it may occupy an extensive area of the tooth. The second case is accompanied by masticatory, phonetic or aesthetic disorders.


The causes of hypoplastic teeth are varied and induce irreversible enamel changes:

  • Trauma in childhood, in which temporary teeth suffer, can induce changes in the enamel structure of permanent teeth.

  • Malnutrition – deprivation of nutrients such as vitamins A, C and D can lead to insufficient enamel.

  • Medication – antibiotics taken in childhood can have a harmful effect on enamel. This is why close cooperation between the pediatrician, dentist and parents is essential.

  • Eating habits – in children, keeping sugary sweets and candies in the oral cavity for long periods of time increases the acidity of the pH, which will erode the enamel.

  • Congenital abnormalities – some genetic disorders are accompanied by abnormal enamel production.

Particular forms of hyperplastic teeth

Hutchinson’s teeth – the central incisors are round, barrel-shaped; this is a pathognomonic sign of syphilis.

Turner teeth – occur as a result of trauma to the developing dental follicles. Teeth have well-defined white or yellow-brown spots and reduced enamel.

Treatment of dental hypoplasia

The treatment modality is chosen according to the clinical situation. When the lack of substance is small, affecting a small portion of a tooth, the defect can be restored using composite materials that mimic the color of natural teeth. Another option is fluoridation to prevent further demineralization of the teeth.

If the loss of mineral substance is considerable and affects one or more teeth, we restore the structures with zirconium veneer crowns as in the images opposite.

In complex cases, orthodontic treatment may also be necessary before prosthetic treatment.

Dental dystrophy: Dental hyperplasia

In antithesis to the hypoplasia described above, excess enamel on dental units is called hyperplasia. It rarely occurs as uniformly dispersed. In most cases it has an aberrant, disordered location, interfering both with the functionality of the dental arches and with aesthetics, for defects in the frontal area.

Causes of dental hyperplasia

  • Trauma during enamel organ development induces hypersecretion of mineral substance as a protective mechanism. After eruption into the oral cavity, this hypersecretion results in teeth with more enamel than their counterparts.

  • Congenital developmental anomalies of the tooth buds.

In the case of dental hyperplasia, the enamel appears white, dull and is much more brittle than normal.

Treatment of dental hyperplasia aims to restore the teeth to a uniform appearance consistent with other dental units.

If dentine sensitivity occurs following treatment due to excessive enamel removal, protection with zirconium veneer crowns is indicated.

Hyperplasia and hypoplasia are therefore enamel dystrophies, defects that cannot always be prevented. The dentist can therefore identify the reason for the abnormal enamel discharge and guide the patient towards appropriate treatment.

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